The entrepreneur is a factor in and the study of entrepreneurship reaches back to the work of Richard Cantillon and Adam Smith in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. However, entrepreneurship was largely ignored theoretically until the late 19th and early 20th centuries and empirically until a profound resurgence in business and economics since the late 1970s. In the 20th century, the understanding of entrepreneurship owes much to the work of economist Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s and other Austrian economists such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek. According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur is a person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation. Entrepreneurship employs what Schumpeter called "the gale of creative destruction" to replace in whole or in part inferior innovations across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products including new business models. In this way, creative destruction is largely responsible for the dynamism of industries and long-run economic growth. The supposition that entrepreneurship leads to economic growth is an interpretation of the residual in endogenous growth theory and as such is hotly debated in academic economics. An alternative description posited by Israel Kirzner suggests that the majority of innovations may be much more incremental improvements such as the replacement of paper with plastic in the making of drinking straws.
The ability of entrepreneurs to innovate relates to innate traits, including extroversion and a proclivity for risk-taking. According to Joseph Schumpeter, the capabilities of innovating, introducing new technologies, increasing efficiency and productivity, or generating new products or services, are characteristic qualities of entrepreneurs. One study has found that certain genes affecting personality may influence the income of self-employed people. Some people may be able to use[weasel words] "an innate ability" or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion and market demand for new products or services. Entrepreneurs tend to have the ability to see unmet market needs and underserved markets. While some entrepreneurs assume they can sense and figure out what others are thinking, the mass media plays a crucial role in shaping views and demand. Ramoglou argues that entrepreneurs are not that distinctive and that it is essentially poor conceptualizations of "non-entrepreneurs" that maintain laudatory portraits of "entrepreneurs" as exceptional innovators or leaders  Entrepreneurs are often overconfident, exhibit illusion of control, when they are opening/expanding business or new products/services.
^ Ebbena, Jay; Johnson, Alec (2006). "Bootstrapping in small firms: An empirical analysis of change over time". Journal of Business Venturing (published November 2006). 21 (6): 851–865. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2005.06.007. Bootstrapping has taken on many definitions in the literature, but there has been some recent consensus that it is a collection of methods used to minimize the amount of outside debt and equity financing needed from banks and investors (Winborg and Landstrom, 2001 and Harrison and Mason, 1997).
Although the "self-made man" (or woman) has always been a popular figure in American society, entrepreneurship has gotten greatly romanticized in the last few decades. In the 21st century, the example of internet companies like Alphabet, fka Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) – both of which have made their founders wildly wealthy – people are enamored with the idea of becoming entrepreneurs.
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Entrepreneurship is one of the resources economists categorize as integral to production, the other three being land/natural resources, labor and capital. An entrepreneur combines the first three of these to manufacture goods or provide services. They typically create a business plan, hire labor, acquire resources and financing, and provide leadership and management for the business.
Entrepreneurs are leaders willing to take risk and exercise initiative, taking advantage of market opportunities by planning, organizing and deploying resources, often by innovating to create new or improving existing products or services. In the 2000s, the term "entrepreneurship" has been extended to include a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives, e.g. in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship or knowledge entrepreneurship.
In the 2000s, usage of the term "entrepreneurship" expanded to include how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them. The term has also been used to discuss how people might use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or industries, and create wealth. The entrepreneurial process is uncertain because opportunities can only be identified after they have been exploited.
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